The Black Fish Campaign – Blog #3

3Today was a day for Activism 2.0. The Black Fish campaign took the next level in their investigation into driftnetting by using emerging technology of drones (otherwise called Unmanned Aerial Systems“UAS”) for positive social change.

The UAS gives the campaign an extra edge by flying over sea and into harbors to document with a small video camera the illegal fishing operations. The kind of birds eye view that they could otherwise never achieve on their own…

With little resources or funding, this technology allows The Black Fish to gather evidence that could hopefully end driftnetting once and for all. To do this they have partnered with ShadowView, a non-profit that uses the UAS as a “game-changer” for the conservation movement. As the founder, Lawrence de Groot says:

“Whether they’re being used to find poachers in the African bush or right here to inspect potential illegal fishing vessels, the more you think about it the more peaceful possibilities you’ll see for these flying camera’s.”

Both Lawrence and the founder of the Black Fish, Wietse van der Werf (seen above), are old friends of mine from my Sea Shepherd days. It’s quite a kick to be back together as the next generation of eco-activists leading our projects but collaborating together. Wietse with The Black Fish leading the Mediterranean campaign; Lawrence with Shadow providing UAS to document from the skies; while me doing this film to tell their stories.

I think collaboration is a defining characteristic of what is different about this generation. Not only is Activist 2.0 about new tactics like this emerging technology of the UAS, but about the next generation coming together.

I think we’ve seen the divisions of the past environmental groups and we’re doing things differently. Instead connecting together on our common cause and goals for our planet. For the reality is our generation has no more time left to continue in-fighting between ourselves, we have to stop drawing lines in the sand. This is our moment to turn things around and build a world we can sustain into the future.

It’s exciting to see that beginning with campaigns like this. My filming here is attempting to capture this new generation’s story. What that story will be, I can only hope but time will tell.

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